In Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland Counties there are currently 57 children who are not able to live with their own family due to safety concerns. Foster families provide a safe, comfortable and caring haven for these children during this traumatic time. Staying connected to familiar and reassuring things, such as friends, school, and routine activities, helps lessen the stress and change a child must cope with in his or her young life.
“It is through the commitment of foster parents that children who have been abused or neglected are able to remain in their community in a safe and nurturing environment,” said Rachelle Curry, MSW, Circuit Manager.
Unfortunately, remaining in the community is not always an option if a foster family is not available when a child comes into care. Some children must go to a neighboring community, far from the community they know.
“We are always in need of more families who will open their hearts and homes to children in Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland counties,” said Curry. “Foster parents make children feel safe, nurtured, and loved, and they provide support for children and families during a challenging time in their lives.”
Anyone can apply to become a foster parent in Missouri, as long as they are 21 years old and willing to go through the training and assessment process. That process includes background checks, health screenings, financial discussions and home assessments.
“You don’t have to be married or own your own home,”‘ said Curry. “As long as your housing and income are stable and meet licensure standards and there is room in your home and heart for more family members, you are likely to be approved.”
There are other ways to support children living in foster families in your community, and Curry said she and her staff will be happy to work with community members to explain how to donate items or personal time to support children in foster care.
To learn more about foster foster parenting or ways to get involved, visit http://www.MOheartgallery.org or call Laura Babington at 660-727-3393, ext 229, or 1-800-554-2222 for more information.
“The Missouri Children’s Division would like to thank everyone in Clark, Schuyler, and Scotland Counties for their generosity and support of foster families during our foster parent appreciation activities this year,” said Curry. “We have outstanding foster parents and it was a wonderful opportunity to recognize their dedication to helping children in foster care.”
Recently a local a pool party was held to demonstrate appreciation to foster parents and the children they are supporting. The following local businesses donated to help make it fun and memorable event: Casey’s General Store, Community Bank of Memphis, Exchange Bank of Kahoka, Memphis Pizza Hut, Scotland County Ministerial Alliance, Scotland County Pharmacy, People’s Bank of Wyaconda, Shelter Insurance – Tim Bertram, and Vigen Memorial Home of Kahoka.